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PhD-candidate for the NanoCommons project

Website Maastricht University (UM), NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism

Nanotechnologies is increasing our ability to improve our quality of life. Whether is it innovative medicine, ingredients in new beneficial products, or reducing the cost of smartphones, nanomaterials have found their way into our society. However, like any chemical of natural or synthetic source, sometimes the chemical substance cause adverse outcomes. The European Union has funded research projects to explore nanomaterials, their many uses, and their potential toxicity. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest in the development of Adverse Outcome Pathways for the regulation of chemicals on the market, particularly when combined with molecular pathways, such as found in WikiPathways. However, a common language and infrastructure is missing that unites these research fields. That is where NanoCommons comes in.

This project will focus on using a formal ontology to create a common language to unify research in these fields, among which is the research done in the EU NanoSafety Cluster (NSC). You will actively work together with many international projects and institutes to combine the ontology with approaches to further the European research into nanotechnologies. Among these are projects like eNanoMapper, OpenRiskNet, and EU-ToxRisk. The eNanoMapper project developed an initial ontology, which is continued in the NSC and in this project. This ontology needs continued development which you will coordinate using Open Science approaches. Adoption will be encouraged via collaborations but also using social media channels used by research peers.

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